The death of a loved one is awful, and it becomes worse when the property left behind has become a burden due to legal and financial problems. Unfortunately, this is a case that is often too common as most people never leave behind a concrete plan on what should be done in the event of their death. It takes a bit of work to sell a house in probate in 2021.
A survey conducted in 2011 by EZ Law Wills & Estate Planning shows that over 56% of the American adult population do not have an estate plan. As a result, after they pass on, the rightful heirs always have a hard time taking charge of the property left behind and paying off the inherited debts.
What happens when you have to take over a property without a will and real estate plan?
We are never prepared for death, and after losing a family member or close friend, that is when the reality dawns on us that some quick actions are required. If you are the rightful heir to a property left behind by a loved one and there is no will to show this, you will need to legally earn this position. The only way to do this is to rely on the probate courts by submitting forms to prove your relationship with the deceased.
It is important to note that this process is crucial even if you were the only child and no one else is contesting the property. The odds are raised if you have siblings or other family members who equally want their rightful share of the property. In the end, the probate courts will have the final say on who gets to be appointed as the executor of the property.
What happens when the deceased left behind a will?
A will by the deceased always simplifies matters when it comes to inheritance and authority over a property. Nevertheless, the fact that there is a will does not mean that you will avoid the probate process. This is because probate is a formal legal process centered on recognizing a will’s validity and appointing an executor to take charge of the property.
As a rightful heir named on a will, you will have to file this will with the courts before initiating the probate process. It is critical to note each state has its probate laws, and there is a need to be conversant with their timelines and details. A straightforward way to ensure you adhere to the law is to hire an attorney to guide you through this process.
What is the next step after you have been named as the executor/administrator of the Property?
If the courts have named you as the executor or administrator of the deceased’s property, then you have a serious responsibility. Earning this title does not give you absolute rights on the property; instead, it gives you the authority while the probate process is ongoing. As an executor, your primary responsibility is to preserve the estate’s assets before they can be distributed to other heirs.
As an administrator of probate property, you have lots of duties, and it is essential to find the best ways to manage them.
Overly, you are expected to:
- Understand the probate process
Hiring and regularly consulting with a probate lawyer is vital if you have been selected as an executor or administrator of the property. You need professional guidance to have a firm grasp of what to expect from the probate process. Equally, you need to know how far-reaching your mandates are while there are ongoing court procedures. Failure to do this can easily see you break probate rules, which can lead to tough legal battles that further complicate this process.
Note: Always remember that each state has its probate laws that determine how the entire process runs.
- Master all details about the property
As an executor, you need to know every detail about the property, including debts owed by the estate. Typically, this means you have to be aware of all taxes, debts (e.g., mortgage amount owed), and expenses required to maintain the property. You will also need to notify all creditors so they can make their claims within the right time frame. Depending on how many creditors are owed, this can either be a burdensome phase or one that runs smoothly.
You also need to know the current state of the property, and its market value, as this will help fasten the probate process. This is because by knowing the worth of the property against the debts and taxes owed, it is easy to come up with a clear-cut solution on the course of actions to take. It also becomes easier to determine the best way that the property can be distributed among all heirs.
Note: The good news is that no heir is personally responsible for the debts of the deceased. All debts can only be paid off from the property left behind, and the courts will determine the amount to be paid to the creditors. However, you must never misguide the courts by misrepresenting debts, hiding assets, or lying to creditors.
- Communicate and negotiate with other heirs until there is a mutual agreement
The last thing you need as the executor of a property is never-ending battles among the other heirs. Property disputes are not only frustrating but can take years to resolve. Meanwhile, you will be burdened by a property that requires proper maintenance and payments of any debts/taxes that are owed.
To avoid being caught up in such a situation, it is vital to involve all heirs who want their share of the property. This might require a professional mediator to save you from wasting time while the property becomes impossible to manage efficiently.
When is the right time to sell a house in probate?
There is no specific timeline for a house in probate to be sold, but it is important to do this before the probate process iis closed. Your ability to sell the house depends on whether there are any contesting issues or not. It is also determined by whether you have received a nod from the courts.
Ultimately, it is up to the courts to set a date for the probate to end, and you need to beat this deadline.
If there are multiple heirs, you will have an easy time if consultations have been completed and there is an agreement on how you will share profits from the sale. It is important that all issues are resolved before you rush to put up the house for sale, as the disgruntled heirs will present you with new legal battles. There is also the need to prove you can meet your obligations as an executor without any conflicts of interest, especially if you are a beneficiary of the property.
Still, there is a need to ensure timely liquidation of assets as the longer the probate process takes, the more costly the process will become. This is because you will have the burden of maintaining the property, so it does not slide into despair while meeting other costs associated with the process. To have the authority to sell the house, you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate and ensure that all other heirs are on board with the decision.
How long does it take to obtain the Grant of Probate?
It is possible to obtain the Grant of Probate in as few as two weeks, or it can take up to 12 weeks. The time it takes to receive this depends on the matters the probate court is handling after an application has been made. The good news is that you are free to go ahead and put up the property for sale once you obtain this grant.
Must the property go through appraisal?
Many people think that they can avoid the appraisal process because they are selling the house in probate. This cannot be further from the truth as the probate court always needs an appraisal from a certified appraiser. The aim of an appraisal is not to put a price cap or dictate the final price of the property. Instead, it is to determine the property’s value at the time of the decedent’s death.
As a rule, you should not avoid this initial process, as it will only complicate the probate process when you want to close that sale. The initial appraisal also comes in handy when determining how taxes you might be required to pay will be calculated. Generally, capital gains are calculated as the difference between the property’s value determined during the appraisal and the amount you sell it for.
Simplifying a probate sale
It is no secret that a probate sale is more complicated and demanding than a standard real estate sale. On the one hand, you have to deal with the probate courts and adhere to all the rules and guidelines provided. On the other hand, you have to bear with the pressure from heirs and creditors who are all looking up to you. All this can be frustrating since the loss of a loved one should never come with so much pressure and trouble in getting things back to normal.
However, it is possible to make the otherwise complicated probate sale process simpler by opting to sell the house to a cash investor. Finding a trusted company that is ready to purchase the home for cash will save you from facing the challenges of putting up the property for sale and waiting for the right buyer. It also eliminates the need to work with a real estate company, considering how much money will be spent on the probate process and debts to be paid off.
Is opting for a cash sale worth it?
Anyone who has gone through a probate process, especially one where the heirs could not agree on the decision to be made, knows it is never an easy journey. But, you can fast-track the process after obtaining a Grant of Probate by selling the house to a cash buyer. Among the advantages of choosing this option are:
You get to make a quick and easy sale at a fair price.
Cash investors will give you fair value for your property without necessarily having to wait for several weeks to attract the right buyer. This helps avoid the long waiting time before you can close the deal and have money to pay off any creditors before the amount becomes unbearable. A cash sale is not only a quick solution when everything is at stake, but a straightforward way to avoid the equally demanding bidding process.
You do not have to worry about paying any commissions or fees after the transaction.
When you work with a cash investor, there are no closing costs, real estate agent commissions, and other fees that will be deducted from the transaction. Instead, every cent goes to the estate, making it easier to settle any debts owed.
You get to sell the house as-is.
The good news about opting for a cash sale is you never have to repair or remodel the house before the buyer gives you an offer. Instead, you get to sell the property in its state without making any changes or upgrades. This will save you from the expensive costs associated with renovating a house that was not properly maintained.
You get to move on quickly rather than have your life held back because of the house.
There is never a need to have your life stagnate because you cannot sell a property in the shortest timeline. A cash sale allows you to overcome this hurdle by giving you an instant solution to a process that would otherwise take months or years to complete. You will then be able to meet all your obligations as the executor and move forward with your life.
Selling a home in probate must never be too complicated when you could always turn to cash investors for a quick and easy sale. If you want to give up the stress of the probate process, then selling a house in cash is your ultimate solution. The best part is that cash investors who invest in probate houses have experience handling similar cases and can help you complete the process as fast as possible. Get a no-obligation cash offer here.